Last week’s market got rained out. And it wasn’t the warm summer downpour that we’ve held multiple markets in, but rather a bone-chilling rainstorm that made the few vendors and TLC staff members that were there tremble under tree cover in hopes it would pass quickly. No such luck.
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At the Farm Progress Show in Decatur last week, I saw encourging signs that even among conventional farmers there is growing recognition of the importance of sustainable farming practices. During two panel discussions, one on cover crops, the other on wildlife restoration, the conversation made it plain that protecting and rebuilding the health of our farmland is being accepted as a necessary component of farming, even among those who grow on an industrial scale.
Any journey might break you. A good journey will put you back together.
Rural road in Iganga district, on the way to class.
Farming is inherently beautiful.
The reorganization of soil, water, and sunlight into a rainbow of colors and all of the architectural combinations that we have not thought of yet, that end up reorganized yet again before they end up on our plates. And then there are the things that we farm, but don’t necessarily (and sometimes, necessarily) eat. The wood, fuels, fibers, and of course the flowers.
It was July of last year and I had just moved to Champaign. In fact, it was one of the first times I had even stepped foot on a farm. It was a beautiful, sunny, clear blue day. There was a slight breeze, and Tomahnous Farm was vast, green and gorgeous.
One thing you can't really avoid noticing when you're buying local food (or growing it yourself) is that stuff changes. Those gooseberries I enjoyed experimenting with a couple of months ago? Gone. That fresh asparagus I like so much? Sorry! Rhubarb? No.
Next week (August 2-8) is National Farmers’ Market Week, and we want to #CUatthemarkets! Please join Urbana’s Market at the Square and The Land Connection’s Champaign Farmers’ Market in supporting the farmers who work so hard to grow fresh, healthy, local foods for our community.
As you may know... last week was Bastille Day!
And we had a celebration at the Champaign Farmers' Market.
We decided to celebrate the French, and all of their cultural and culinary insights.
And were only a bit silly about it.
Part of my job involves talking to the public about The Land Connection's training programs. More specifically, it means talking to farmers or people who want to get into farming.